Oxford-based Bimble launches "app for places" with £1.3 million angel investment

Oxford-based Bimble launches

Bimble, a British-born app for saving and sharing favourite locations, has launched with £1.3 million in funding from angel investors across the travel, retail, and fashion sectors. Dimitris Panagopoulos, one of the original Net-a-Porter backers, led the round and was joined by Rupert Rittson-Thomas and Julian Granville. A third of the investment comes from female angels committed to backing other female entrepreneurs. Somewhere between a travel app and social media platform, Bimble will serve as a “stylish repository” for the “experience generation”, where users can discover new places, save them in travel lists, and share them with others. “We created Bimble after realising there are thousands of place recommendations shared every day, but no simple way to collect these and pass them on,” said CEO Francesa Howland. “Through the app, you can curate the places that mean something to you, helping you and your favourite people better enjoy the world around you.” Bimble, taking its name from an old English word for “a leisurely walk or journey”, seems like a mix of Pinterest, Instagram, and Foursquare and aspires to reach those levels of market leadership. Referencing another top platform, the company says it “aims to do with places what Spotify has done for music.”

Despite all the comparisons, investors see something new. Panagopoulos commented: “Bimble offers us a meaningful, creative and life-enhancing digital community; quite different from the social media platforms of the last 10 years.” Howland elaborates on that point, saying “review sites have had their moment, while socially aware, community media will define the next decade.” Over the past year of iOS app development and beta testing, the Oxford-based startup has already built a community of 60,000 users and been selected for the Google Digital Accelerator Programme.

The funding will help strengthen Bimble’s marketing and product teams, in addition to further developing the platform and app. The startup plans to release new features every month for the foreseeable future.

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